Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, December 3, 2016.
I led off with the reworked version of the Fatback Band's "Do the Bus Stop", from the Get Down soundtrack. It's been updated with new vocals by Sarah Ruba while keeping the original funk completely intact. The result spans 40 years in a single song. I remember hearing this one when it was new and I was a kid in Brooklyn. Mainly I was watching Sesame Street. I think I noticed this song because I rode the bus everywhere, so a song seemingly about bus stops made sense.
Also featured, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, one of Michael Franti's early projects. I've had "Television, the Drug of the Nation" in my personal library for years but only just realized it's in the station's library as well. At 25 years old it's only just barely dated, especially in light of all the recent talk about fake news. Franti could rap almost as well as Chuck D, and be almost as angry.
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, November 19, 2016.
This year has been hard on musicians, and so this week's choices were unfortunately dominated by selections from the recently deceased.
Mostly that meant Sharon Jones, who passed away yesterday at age 60. I'm a huge fan of Jones, so I worked in as many of her songs as the station rules allow. In addition to her best known songs-- I'm thinking "100 Days, 100 Nights"-- I found some lesser known tracks. A couple are from the Desco funk 45 collection, where Jones recorded in the pre-Daptone days. I also found a couple of guest appearances on tracks by Booker T. Washington and Steve Cropper. "I'm Still Here" is the highlight, a new song from the movie "Miss Sharon Jones". It's her autobiography, presented in her own amazing style.
Leonard Cohen also recently passed away. I can't claim to have been all that familiar with his music before the retrospectives of the past couple of weeks. For the show I was pleased to find that he once did vocals for Was (not Was) on a track called "Elvis's Rolls Royce".
Finally there's Jean-Jacques Perrey, one of the pioneers of electronic music. He's not so well known these days but his "E.V.A." has been remixed by Fatboy Slim, and the theme song from "Futurama" is rather strongly reminiscent of this track from 1970.
Terrible news! Sharon Jones has passed away, finally losing her battle with cancer. It was not a good sign when Miss Jones and the Dap-Kings had to cancel a European tour over the summer. But I had hope. She never gave up, performing right through cancer treatments, bald from chemo but still as energetic on stage as ever. But all things must pass. Jones helped build Daptone Records, which recognized her talent and gave her the artistic freedom she needed. Daptone will no doubt continue, in part as Jones's legacy.
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, November 12, 2016.
And now it's a few days after the election. As tempting as it was to go political in my selections, I thought we could all use something to take the edge off, to help put a smile back on people's faces even just for a couple of hours.
So, I went with songs that are funny, weird, or just unexpected.
I really wanted to play Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". I couldn't find a clean-for-airplay version (there's that "life's a piece of shit" line). I mentioned this on Twitter, and Eric Idle responded. I wouldn't normally edit a song before playing it but since Idle wrote and performed the song I considered this to be an officially endorsed edit.
It's the day before the election. That may have influenced some of my song choices. Like Janet Jackson's "Nasty" or Kool & the Gang's "Ladies Night". Or why I played the Bee Gees doing "If I Can't Have You", or Queen Latifah & Monie Love doing "Ladies First". Or a few others.
I had been tempted to play Vanity 6's "Nasty Girl" (I don't know a "Nasty Woman" song that would fit the show). I couldn't get my hands on a copy in time, though. The CD is out of print, and it's not available from any legal download site I know. Oh well. Aside from the title I'm not sure it would have made sense.